CSM Stable Isotope Laboratory


The Colorado School of Mines Stable Isotope Laboratory was first established in 1991 with the acquisition of a VG 602E stable isotope ratio mass spectrometer.  The lab was later upgraded to a triple-collecting VG 903 instrument.  After many years of valiant service, these two instruments were retired.  A new era of stable isotope analysis and research began to take place around the installation and set-up surrounding a new nucleus of a GV Instruments IsoPrime gas-sourced isotope ratio mass spectrometer.

Fully on line by 2004, the lab possesses capabilities of measuring the stable isotope ratios of H, C, N, O, and S in an extremely wide array of sample matrices.  The IsoPrime is the keystone around which several on-line preparation devices deliver gases to the source. Traditional dual-inlet applications (carbonates, waters, off-line prepared gases) are routinely used for automated analysis.

Continuous-flow instrumentation, centered on two elemental analyzers and a cryo-focused trace-gas preconcentrator, also interface with the IsoPrime nucleus.  Common applications include phosphates, nitrates, sulfates, sulfides, waters, organics, soils, oil, methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide.

While the lab caters to CSM users, analysis for external clients boasts rapid turn-around times and competitive rates.  If your research or consulting project demands stable isotope analyses, contact Dr. John Humphrey to discuss your project needs and pricing.

A State-of-the-Science Facility

Stable isotopes are universal tracers of geochemical processes.  Natural mass-dependent fractionation affords identification of pathways for numerous systems.